Roots catalyzes change through grassroots programming, starting with the personal connections we foster.
The day-to-day realities of this region demand a constant readiness and preparedness to care for and support families and individuals in need. We coordinate, in response, a variety of activities ranging from engaging the civil and military administrations to home/hospital visits to aiding individuals as they navigate the complex legal systems in the region.
Local Leaders Programs:
Roots has engaged 65 local civil and religious leaders from both Palestinian and Israeli communities to implement local joint initiatives. These leaders are already working on tolerance education in local schools, medical co-ordination and programs which promote leadership against violence.
Working with 3 pre-army academies, we deliver 2 months of exposure to the Palestinian narrative, facilitating understanding between those going to the army and local Palestinians. Our 2015 pilot reached 200 young people and we are now preparing to replicate it throughout the pre-army academy network.
Responding to Violence
Points of Calm:
As a way of preventing escalation and lowering tensions, we facilitate communication channels between neighboring Israeli and Palestinian leaders to be an immediate source of calm and understanding between local communities in times of increased tensions. This reduces the chance of volatile escalations and violent outbreaks
Incident Response Team:
Members of the both communities make visits to the site or family attacked, to show solidarity and condemn the violence. Responses have also included large scale rallies against violence.
Dual Narrative Program:
A five month program for Israelis and Palestinians age 17-21 which explores personal and collective identity, connection to the land and each other’s narratives. This is comprised of monthly trips and activities, bookended by 2 day workshops. This pilot for 50 young people will serve as a model to be expanded upon in coming years.
We host and organize small learning groups, lectures and events to encourage dialogue and conversation between religious communities. These efforts increase understanding and open up an important avenue for resolution. (A Jewish Prayer for Ramadan, 2017 Iftar)
A quarterly gathering enables participating Israeli and Palestinian families to share each other’s hospitality, drawing on our shared legacy of welcoming guests from the house of Abraham. At these meetings families renew contact, deepen friendships, and solidarity.
Groups come together to learn each others' languages, a great gesture of respect between our peoples and a real place of understanding and transformation.
Working with Young People
The last two summers Roots has run summer camps for 160 local children. This year we hope to expand our summer camp to a weeklong experience of art, fun and positive interaction with the option of overnight stay.
Maintaining ongoing contact is critical to keeping our young participants engaged with Roots's message. We host photography workshops which bring Palestinian and Israeli children together in ongoing meetings throughout the year. This is a unique place for young people to connect over things they enjoy and undo the prejudices and fear our children otherwise learn.
Directly support Roots programming:
In order to run many of our programs we rely on donations from individuals and organizations. Some of the initiatives that we wish to expand upon are listed below:
Operational expenses for our community center where many of our meetings and tours are based. Funds go directly for heat in the winter, electricity, water, coffee/tea, cooking gas, maintenance, cleaning, and support staff. Support a week of programming! $500 USD
Our on-going meetings for people interested in the project to come and meet with activists. $150 USD
Joint Iftar (break-fast meal)
A meal held during the month of Ramadan that brings over 60 people from all sides of the conflict together. $650 USD
One of our main forms of outreach is sending our speakers to visit groups in the home of a host; to engage new communities in the work and message of Roots. $100 USD
Given in Hebrew and Arabic about aspects of each others societies, religions, politics and culture. These events increase awareness of how our two peoples are living and how to form stronger partnerships. $350 USD
12 local youth an 8-week photography workshop. $1,200 USD
Daytrips for Young Adults
Roots organizes trips for groups of up to 45 local 16-18 year-olds traveling together to explore each other's heritage and narrative at sites dear to their respective history and identity. $1300 USD
Roots online presence and mail server keep us in touch with our local and international community. $50 a month, keep us wired for the year! $600 USD